Ebola fears rise in US after missed diagnosis

Source:  Ebola fears rise in US after missed diagnosis    Tag:  ebola diagnosis

THE first person to develop Ebola in the US was struggling to survive at a Dallas hospital on Sunday after his condition worsened to critical, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.
Thomas Eric Duncan became ill after arriving in Dallas from Liberia two weeks ago heightening concerns that the worst Ebola epidemic on record could spread from West Africa, where it began in March and has killed more than 3,400 people.
"The man in Dallas, who is fighting for his life, is the only patient to develop Ebola in the US," CDC director Thomas Frieden said on CNN’s "State of the Union".
Mr Duncan’s case has highlighted problems that US public health officials are trying furiously to address: The Dallas hospital that admitted him initially did not recognise the disease and sent him home, only for him to return two days later in an ambulance.
"The issue of the missed diagnosis initially is concerning," Dr Frieden said, adding that public health officials had redoubled their efforts to raise awareness of the disease.
"We’re seeing more people calling us, considering the possibility of Ebola — that’s what we want to see," he said on CNN. "We don’t want people not to be diagnosed." Dr Frieden said he was confident the disease would not spread widely within the US. US officials are also scaling up their response in West Africa, where Ebola is an enormous challenge, he said. "But it’s going to take time," Dr Frieden said. "The virus is spreading so fast that it’s hard to keep up." In Dallas, a spokesman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Wendell Watson, said Mr Duncan remained critical on Sunday. He would not elaborate.